tecznotes

Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Jan 17, 2006 5:53pm

bokardo on infoviz

Joshua believes that information visualization is a trend to watch in 2006. I'm not sure it's a trend, so much as continued growth process. After all, information visualization was also one of Tim O'Reilly's trends to watch in 2005, and we didn't see any tectonic shifts in the area this year.

I think Information Visualization is similar to the recently funny-popular Bill Gates computer speech predictions. The wave keeps threatening to break, but never seems to quite gather the necessary momentum. Meanwhile, designers continue to do interesting work in the trenches, interfaces slowly grow new visual displays of information, and software users keep raising their expectations of charts, graphs and UI's. I think this is one trend that's never going to feel "huge" (in the way that one of Tim's other trendspottings, Ruby On Rails, did), even while continuing to expand dramatically.

My personal prediction for infoviz in 2006 is that there will be a shift from Tufte-style static information displays to live ones, that show data in flux or afford manipulation. Developments like AP's Measure Map date widget or open-source libraries for generating well-understood display styles will drive this change by helping non-designers get in on the action. It will be some time (2-3 years) before a designer or researcher blesses this shift with a book on dynamic information visualization that rivals Tufte's in elegance and reach.

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